on nothing. IMAGINEWEDSTILLWRITEWITHOUTSPACESLIKEBACKINTHEDAYSOFTHEGREEKSANDROMANSTEXTWOULDBESOHARDTOREADANDTAKELONGTODECIPHER This is pretty cumbersome to read. Where does one word start and another end? And yet this was precisely how text looked like for a very long time. No differences between upper and lower case, no punctuation, and (shriek!) no spaces between the words to tell where one started and another ended. […]


ma(r)king time It’s the end of April and technically, it’s supposed to be a time for planting and growing seeds into seedlings, in order to see them flourish into proud young plants in the merry month of May. Sure, April was always going to be moody and fickle, offering us sun, rain, hail, thunder, snow, […]


Hurray! It’s exclamation day! Last week, we celebrated international Women’s Day, today it’s *drum roll*… Yes, NATIONAL EXCLAMATION POINT DAY today! 13 March! That’s ! Day in the US, at least according to a bit of a random website. I haven’t been able to track whether it’s legit, and who proposed it, and to what […]


What’s in a name? THAT A BRACKET BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SECTION MATTER OFF? So, here’s a secret about me… ! isn’t actually my favourite sign. I love it, but no. My favourites are (and I’m not ashamed to say so) BRACKETS! Or parentheses, depending from which side of the Atlantic you’re reading. Brackets (I […]


what’s love got to do with emojis??? Yep, that’s exactly what it is. Valentine’s Day. If you’ve found your lover, you can stop reading now (okay, not really – maintenance!). If you’re still looking, keep on reading: the following may be highly pertinent information for you! A well-placed emoji or exclamation mark (both!) can make […]

Exclamation Point, Exclamation Mark – Potato Potato?

Exclamation Point, Exclamation Mark – Potato Potato? What’s in a name? Juliet asks, continuing that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. I’m quoting from memory, but that’s the general drift: the essence of the thing is not in the name; the name is random; it’s just an accidentally assigned sound signifying […]

Spooky Punctuatiooooooon!

spooooky punctuatiooooon! Today is the 31st of October, so it’s that very special time of year. It’s been a beautifully mellow yellow autumn day over here; I’ve been working away in my garden; those floating little insects dancing up and down in the slanting rays of the afternoon sun; my doggo carefully watching the fence, […]

! in titles

shouty titles!!! What’s the easiest way to get attention? Slab a ! at the end of your words. Preferably more!!!  That’s at least what some of the exclamation mark detractors say, but that’s, of course, not the whole story. Not even close. In my book, I explore how we can look at punctuation when we’re […]

Ready for Rish? How ! can get you the job. Or not.

Ready for rish? How ! can get you the job. or not. Three Prime Ministers within three months (two months, really). The UK is burning through politicians like a chainsmoker through free cigarettes. Candidates just keep coming like lemmings, voluntarily throwing themselves off the cliff into and out of the revolving doors at Number 10. […]

Is this the worst? Well, it’s certainly great semicolon use!

Is this the worst? Well, it’s certainly great semicolon use! Shakespeare’s infamously hopeless tragedy King Lear has lots of great lines when we are shocked and grieved by the incompetence of those supposed to lead us: in the play, hunger for power, greed for gold, personal revenge, and sheer malice and cruelty motivate kings, queens, and […]